Hieronymites

Last updated
Order of Saint Jerome
AbbreviationOSH
FormationLate 14th century
Type Catholic enclosed religious order
HeadquartersOrden de San Jerónimo
Monasterio de Santa María del Parral
Subida al Parral, 2
40003 - Segovia, Spain
Website www.monjesjeronimos.es

The Hieronymites, also formally known as the Order of Saint Jerome (Latin : Ordo Sancti Hieronymi; abbreviated OSH), is a Catholic cloistered religious order and a common name for several congregations of hermit monks living according to the Rule of Saint Augustine, though the role principle of their lives is the 5th-century hermit and biblical scholar Jerome.

Contents

The principal group with this name was founded in the Iberian Peninsula around the 14th century. Their religious habit is a white tunic with a brown, hooded scapular and a brown mantle. For liturgical services, they wear a brown cowl.

Iberian Hieronymites

The Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral, the current headquarters of the Order of Saint Jerome. Segovia - Real Monasterio de Santa Maria del Parral 01.jpg
The Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral, the current headquarters of the Order of Saint Jerome.

Origins

Established near Toledo, Spain, the order developed from a spontaneous interest of a number of eremitical communities in both Spain and Portugal in imitating the life of Jerome and Paula of Rome. This way of life soon became widespread in Spain. Two of these hermits, Pedro Fernández y Pecha and Fernando Yáñez y de Figueroa, decided it would be more advantageous to live a more regular way of life in a community, under an authorized monastic rule. [1]

Under their leadership, the Monastery of Saint Bartholomew was then founded in Lupiana, with Fernández y Pecha acting as the first prior. On 18 October 1373, Pope Gregory XI issued a papal bull recognizing them as a religious order, under the Rule of Saint Augustine. The constitutions included the teachings of their patron saint. By 1415 there numbered 25 houses following this spirit; in that year, they were united by the Pope and given the status of an exempt order, free from episcopal jurisdiction. [2]

The order, from its outset, enjoyed great favor from the king of Spain, and soon possessed some of the most famous monasteries in the Iberian Peninsula, including the Royal Monastery of Saint Mary of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain; the Royal Monastery of Saint Mary of Bethlehem in Lisbon, Portugal; and the magnificent monastery built by Philip II of Spain at El Escorial, in which the kings of Spain were buried. [3] [4]

Though their way of life was very austere, the Hieronymites also devoted themselves to study and to active ministry, possessing great influence at the courts both of Spain and of Portugal. In the 16th century, they were a major supporter of the efforts of the Portuguese mystic, John of God, who established the nursing order in Granada bearing his name. They went to both Spanish and Portuguese America and played a considerable part in bringing Christianity to the peoples of the New World.

The Hieronymite nuns, founded in 1375 by Maria Garcias, also became numerous throughout the Iberian peninsula. [3]

Religious habit

The religious habit of the monks of the Order of Saint Jerome is white and includes the brown scapular. Habit (Order of Saint Jerome).svg
The religious habit of the monks of the Order of Saint Jerome is white and includes the brown scapular.

The members of the order (monks and nuns) adopted as their religious habit a white tunic with a brown scapular (similar to the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel used by the Carmelites) and a hood, over which is worn a brown mantle or cowl of the same color. [4]

American mission

The islands of the Antilles in the Caribbean were entrusted to them for pastoral care by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, who sent a small party of three monks to Hispaniola. They were originally sent to deal with the issue of accusations against the Spanish colonists of atrocities against the native population. These charges had been most vocally leveled by the noted priest Bartolomé de las Casas, who was a secular priest at the time. They appear to have been ineffectual in preventing the abuses which de la Casas had charged.

The leader of the monks, Luis de Figueroa, was later named the third bishop of Santo Domingo in 1523, which at the time also included the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico. He died in 1526, before he could be consecrated as a bishop. [5] Another member of the order, Juan de Arzolaras (or Alzóloras), served as the Archbishop of Santo Domingo (1566-1568), before being transferred to serve as the Bishop of the Canary Islands.

Modern era

Entrance of the nuns' monastery of Saint Paula (Seville, Spain). Convento de Santa Paula.jpg
Entrance of the nuns' monastery of Saint Paula (Seville, Spain).

The men's branch of the order declined during the 18th century and was completely suppressed in 1835 by the Spanish government. [3] At that time, there were 48 monasteries with about a thousand monks. The fate of the monastery buildings was varied. Most of them fell into ruins, others were given to other religious orders, still others became breweries, barns, or holiday homes.

According to canon law, only the Holy See may suppress a religious order, and the Holy See possesses the right to restore that order should it see fit, for up to a century. [6] In 1925, the Hieronymite nuns (who were not affected by the suppression) petitioned the Holy See for a restoration of the men's branch. This was granted, with a new community of monks being established at the Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral in Segovia. However, the troubles of the Republic of 1931 and of the subsequent Spanish civil war of 1936-1939 prevented any real progress until the general government of the order was constituted in 1969.

As of 2012 one community of monks exists, that of Saint Mary of Parral, and 18 monasteries of nuns (17 in Spain and one in India). The Hieronymite Order is a monastic one, now purely contemplative. Through solitude and silence, assiduous prayer, and healthy penance, the order attempts to bring its monks into closer union with God. The Hieronymite is conscious that the more intensely he dedicates himself to the monastic life, the more fruitful becomes the life of the Church as a whole. Hieronymites believe that their prayer can have a profound impact on the world outside the monastery.

This is the environment in which the life of the Hieronymite monk is developed, with the morning usually spent in manual work—the normal means of support for monks—while afternoons are dedicated to contemplation, prayer and study. Throughout the course of the day, the monks also gather for the singing of the Liturgy of the Hours as well as the celebration of the Eucharist. The Hieronymite strives to allow these moments of prayer to flow through his way of life, so that his goal is to express his life in complete charity towards all people.

Hieronymites believe this inwardly-directed manner of life is an exquisite and effective form of apostolic outreach. They believe that in the middle of a restless world, there are those who are called by God to spend some time living in monastic solitude. For this reason, Hieronymite monasteries readily welcome visitors who are guaranteed silence and prayerful support. [2]

As of 2010, there were 11 monks in the order, of whom four were priests. This is down from a high of 21 monks in 1990. [7]

The nuns of the Order

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Hieronymite nun of colonial Mexico Sor Juana by Miguel Cabrera.png
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Hieronymite nun of colonial Mexico

Alongside the Hieronymite monks, there are the Hieronymite nuns. They began in Toledo, Spain, when María García (+1426) and Mayor Gómez headed a group of women who began living lives of simplicity and prayer. Finally, they joined in a common life in order to consecrate their lives to God in prayer and penance. As a result of their community, in 1374, Fernández y Pecha, the prior of the original community of monks, founded the Monastery of Santa Maria de La Sisla near that city. He then looked after the women, guiding them and outlining for them a way of life similar to that of the monks.

This first foundation was the origin of the Monastery of Saint Paul of the "beatas de San Jerónimo", as they began to be called. Their continued observance of their rules and sanctity led to their spread in various places throughout the Iberian Peninsula and in New Spain. In 1585 in Mexico City, the convent of San Jerónimo y Santa Paula was founded. [8] Seventeenth-century Hieronymite Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was that convent's most famous member, known in her own era as "the Tenth Muse."

Other and ancient communities

Current communities

Cloister of the Monastery of Parral (Segovia, Spain). El Parral claustro 03.jpg
Cloister of the Monastery of Parral (Segovia, Spain).
Garden of the Monastery of Parral (Segovia, Spain). El Parral 01.jpg
Garden of the Monastery of Parral (Segovia, Spain).
Saint Jerome with Saint Paula and Saint Eustochium (painting of Francisco de Zurbaran at National Gallery of Art in Washington). Francisco de Zurbaran 043.jpg
Saint Jerome with Saint Paula and Saint Eustochium (painting of Francisco de Zurbarán at National Gallery of Art in Washington).

Male communities (cloistered monks)

Female communities (cloistered nuns)

See also

Notes

  1. "La Orden de San Jerónimo" (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  2. 1 2 "La Orden.La Orden de San Jerónimo". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Butler 1911, p. 454.
  4. 1 2 Besse 1910.
  5. Cheney, David M. "Father Luis de Figueroa [Catholic-Hierarchy]" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  6. "Code of Canon Law: text - IntraText CT" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  7. Cheney, David M. "Orden de San Jerónimo (Institute of Consecrated Life) [Catholic-Hierarchy]" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  8. Asunción Lavrin, Brides of Christ: Conventual Life in Colonial Mexico. Stanford: Stanford University Press 2008, 259.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carmelites</span> Roman Catholic religious order

The Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, known as the Carmelites or sometimes by synecdoche known simply as Carmel, is a Roman Catholic mendicant religious order for men and women. Historical records about its origin remain very uncertain, but it was probably founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel in the Crusader States. Berthold of Calabria has traditionally been associated with the founding of the order, but few clear records of early Carmelite history have survived. The order of Carmelite nuns was formalised in 1452.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monastery</span> Complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monks or nuns

A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, and may also serve as an oratory, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary, and outlying granges. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may also include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community. These may include a hospice, a school, and a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge, or a brewery.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nun</span> Member of a religious community of women

A nun is a woman who vows to dedicate her life to religious service, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the enclosure of a monastery or convent. The term is often used interchangeably with religious sisters who do take simple vows but live an active vocation of prayer and charitable works.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Augustinians</span> Members of religious orders that follow the Rule of Saint Augustine

Augustinians are members of Christian religious orders that follow the Rule of Saint Augustine, written in about 400 AD by Augustine of Hippo. There are two distinct types of Augustinians in Catholic religious orders dating back to the 12th–13th centuries:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hermit</span> Person who lives in seclusion from society

A hermit, also known as an eremite or solitary, is a person who lives in seclusion. Eremitism plays a role in a variety of religions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monk</span> Member of a monastic religious order

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate their life to serving other people and serving God, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live their life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Camaldolese</span> Monastic communities of the Order of St Benedict

The Camaldolese Hermits of Mount Corona, commonly called Camaldolese is a monastic order of Pontifical Right for men founded by Saint Romuald. Their name is derived from the Holy Hermitage of Camaldoli, high in the mountains of central Italy, near the city of Arezzo. Its members add the nominal letters E.C.M.C. after their names to indicate their membership in the congregation. Apart from the Roman Catholic congregations, ecumenical Christian hermitages with a Camaldolese spirituality have arisen as well.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minims (religious order)</span> Roman Catholic religious order of friars

The Minims, officially known as the Order of Minims, are a Roman Catholic religious order of friars founded by Saint Francis of Paola in fifteenth-century Italy. The order soon spread to France, Germany and Spain, and continues to exist today.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christian monasticism</span> Christian devotional practice

Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of Christians who live ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, modeled upon scriptural examples and ideals, including those in the Old Testament, but not mandated as an institution in the scriptures. It has come to be regulated by religious rules and, in modern times, the Canon law of the respective Christian denominations that have forms of monastic living. Those living the monastic life are known by the generic terms monks (men) and nuns (women). The word monk originated from the Greek μοναχός, itself from μόνος meaning 'alone'.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jerónimos Monastery</span> Building in Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon District, Portugal

The Jerónimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery is a former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome near the Tagus river in the parish of Belém, in the Lisbon Municipality, Portugal. It became the necropolis of the Portuguese royal dynasty of Aviz in the 16th century but was secularized on 28 December 1833 by state decree and its ownership transferred to the charitable institution, Real Casa Pia de Lisboa.

In Christianity, an oblate is a person who is specifically dedicated to God or to God's service.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Discalced Carmelites</span> Catholic religious order

The Discalced Carmelites, known officially as the Order of the Discalced Carmelites of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel or the Order of Discalced Carmelites, is a Catholic mendicant order with roots in the eremitic tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. The order was established in the 16th century, pursuant to the reform of the Carmelite Order by two Spanish saints, Saint Teresa of Ávila (foundress) and Saint John of the Cross (co-founder). Discalced is derived from Latin, meaning "without shoes".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conceptionists</span> Roman Catholic order

The Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Conceptionists, are a contemplative enclosed religious order of nuns. For some years, they followed the Poor Clares Rule, but in 1511 they were recognized as a separate Catholic religious order, taking a new Rule and the name of Order of Immaculate Conception.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Enclosed religious orders</span> Christian religious orders separated from the external world

Enclosed religious orders or cloistered clergy are religious orders whose members strictly separate themselves from the affairs of the external world. In the Catholic Church, enclosure is regulated by the code of canon law, either the Latin code or the Oriental code, and also by the constitutions of the specific order. It is practised with a variety of customs according to the nature and charism of the community in question. This separation may involve physical barriers such as walls and grilles, with entry restricted for other people and certain areas exclusively permitted to the members of the convent. Outsiders may only temporarily enter this area under certain conditions. The intended purpose for such enclosure is to prevent distraction from prayer and the religious life and to keep an atmosphere of silence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beatrice of Silva</span> Christian saint

Beatrice of Silva, also known as Beatriz da Silva y Meneses and as Beatriz da Silva e Meneses, was a noblewoman of Portugal, who became the foundress of the monastic Order of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady in Spain. She is honored as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nicolás Borrás</span> Spanish painter

Friar Nicolás Borrás (1530–1610) was a Spanish Renaissance Catholic monk and painter, active in Valencia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monastery of Santa María del Parral</span>

Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral is a Roman Catholic monastery of the enclosed monks of the Order of Saint Jerome just outside the walls of Segovia, Spain.

A religious institute is a type of institute of consecrated life in the Catholic Church whose members take religious vows and lead a life in community with fellow members. Religious institutes are one of the two types of institutes of consecrated life; the other is that of the secular institute, where its members are "living in the world".

Monasteries in Spain have a rich artistic and cultural tradition, and serve as testament to Spain's religious history and political-military history, from the Visigothic Period to the Middle Ages. The monasteries played an important role in the recruitment conducted by Christian aristocracy during and after the progress of the Reconquista, with the consequent decline in the Muslim south of the peninsula.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monastery of la Murta</span>

The Monastery of Santa Maria de la Murta is a former monastery of the order of the Hieronymites located in the Valley of La Murta in Alzira (Valencia), Spain.

References

Attribution: